Say to yourself, "This is not my home; it is now an asset to be sold much like a stock or bond in your financial portfolio.â€ In order to liquidate and receive the most value for your home in a reasonable period of time, it has to be merchandised like any fine retail product. All the homes in your neighborhood are the items in the window of the department storeâ€”and Packaging Matters!
Visualize New York City during the holidays.
Â Macyâ€™s, Bloomingdaleâ€™s, Bergdorf Goodman, and Saks Fifth Avenue spend fortunes in the battle to get you to enter their storefronts. In a buyerâ€™s market, with so many choices, you have to distinguish yourself from others and make people want to enter your â€œstorefront.â€
HERE IS HOW TO PREPARE:
Disassociate Yourself With Your Home.
Ã¼Â Make the mental decision to "let go" of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours.
Ã¼Â Picture yourself handing over the keys and envelopes containing appliance warranties to the new owners!
Ã¼Â Say goodbye to every room.
Ã¼Â Don't look backwards -- look toward the future.
Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers can't see past personal artifacts, and you don't want them to be distracted. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls, and they can't do that if yours are there! You don't want to make any buyer ask, "I wonder what kind of people live in this home?" You want buyers to say, "I can see myself living here."
People collect an amazing quantity of junk. Consider this: if you haven't used it in over a year, you probably don't need it.
Ã¼Â If you don't need it, why not donate it or throw it away?
Ã¼Â Remove all books from bookcases.
Ã¼Â Pack up those knick-knacks.
Ã¼Â Clean off everything on kitchen counters.
Ã¼Â Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet when not in use.
Ã¼Â Think of this process as a head-start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway.
Rearrange Bedroom Closets and Kitchen Cabinets.
Buyers love to snoop and will open closet and cabinet doors. Think of the message it sends if items fall out! Now imagine what a buyer believes about you if she sees everything organized. It says you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well. This means:
Ã¼Â Alphabetize spice jars.
Ã¼Â Neatly stack dishes.
Ã¼Â Turn coffee cup handles facing the same way.
Ã¼Â Hang shirts together, buttoned and facing the same direction.
Ã¼Â Line up shoes.
Rent a Storage Unit.
Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. Since your bookcases are now empty, store them. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room's purpose and plenty of room to move around. You don't want buyers scratching their heads and saying, "What is this room used for?"
Remove/Replace Favorite Items.
If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great grandmother, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, she won't want it. Once you tell a buyer she can't have an item, she will covet it, and it could blow your deal. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.
Make Minor Repairs.
Ã¼Â Replace cracked floor or counter tiles.
Ã¼Â Patch holes in walls.
Ã¼Â Fix leaky faucets.
Ã¼Â Fix doors that don't close properly and kitchen drawers that jam.
Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if you
have grown accustomed to purple or pink walls.
(Don't give buyers any reason to remember your home as "the house with the orange bathroom.")
Ã¼Â Replace burned-out light bulbs.
Ã¼Â If you've considered replacing a worn bedspread, do so now!
Ã¼Â If your carpet is stained, have it professionally cleaned. If it doesnâ€™t come clean, or it is worn out; replace it.
Make the House Sparkle & Shine.
Ã¼Â Wash windows inside and out.
Ã¼Â Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior.
Ã¼Â Clean out cobwebs.
Ã¼Â Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks.
Ã¼Â Polish chrome faucets and mirrors.
Ã¼Â Clean out the refrigerator.
Ã¼Â Vacuum daily.
Ã¼Â Wax floors.
Ã¼Â Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures.
Ã¼Â Bleach dingy grout.
Ã¼Â Replace worn rugs.
Ã¼Â Hang up fresh towels.
Ã¼Â Bathroom towels look great fastened with ribbon and bows.
Ã¼Â Clean and air out any musty smelling areas. Odors are a no-no. This is a big concern with pet owners. You may not smell your pet, but about 50% of homeowners are sensitive to pet smell.
Ã¼Â Plan on a weekly cleaning schedule to make sure buyers donâ€™t see any dust or cobwebs that give them reason to question your home.
Ã¼Â If you plan to be away, or you are leaving your home vacant, hire a cleaning service.
Ã¼Â Go outside and open your front door. Stand there. Do you want to go inside? Does the house welcome you?
Ã¼Â Linger in the doorway of every single room and imagine how your house will look to a buyer.
Ã¼Â Examine carefully how furniture is arranged and move pieces around until it makes sense.
Ã¼Â Make sure window coverings hang level.
Ã¼Â Tune in to the room's statement and its emotional pull. Does it have impact and pizzazz?
Ã¼Â Does it look like nobody lives in this house? You're almost finished.
Check Curb Appeal.
If a buyer won't get out of her agent's car because she doesn't like the exterior of your home, you'll never get her inside.
Ã¼Â Keep the sidewalks cleared.
Ã¼Â Mow the lawn. If you are planning on being away, or you are leaving the home vacant, hire a lawn service.
Ã¼Â Paint faded window trim.
Ã¼Â Plant yellow flowers. Or, group flower pots together. Yellow evokes a buying emotion. Marigolds are inexpensive.
Ã¼Â Trim your bushes.
Ã¼Â Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number.
Ã¼Â Have fresh mulch or pine needles put down in the flower beds.